Dogs of the Western Bay - our Draft Dog Control Policy and Bylaw

Thanks for having your say! Consultation has now finished. We'll be in touch with an adopted plan in August.

Welcome to Dogs of the Western Bay - we're excited to hear your thoughts on our proposed changes to the District's Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.

Earlier this year we asked you what changes you'd like to see to our dog rules. We've listened to your feedback and created a draft policy and bylaw.

Please take a look at the key proposed changes and see what you think. You can also view the draft bylaw, Statement of Proposal, new-look public restriction maps, and you can ask us questions.

If you'd like to have your say please fill in the feedback form.

Please note this is not for Tauranga City areas and issues - only for the Western Bay of Plenty District. Here's a map of my stomping ground if you want to check!

- Alfie - spokesdog for Western Bay.

Welcome to Dogs of the Western Bay - we're excited to hear your thoughts on our proposed changes to the District's Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.

Earlier this year we asked you what changes you'd like to see to our dog rules. We've listened to your feedback and created a draft policy and bylaw.

Please take a look at the key proposed changes and see what you think. You can also view the draft bylaw, Statement of Proposal, new-look public restriction maps, and you can ask us questions.

If you'd like to have your say please fill in the feedback form.

Please note this is not for Tauranga City areas and issues - only for the Western Bay of Plenty District. Here's a map of my stomping ground if you want to check!

- Alfie - spokesdog for Western Bay.

We'd love to hear your feedback on this review. Please let us know what changes you'd like to see.

Please note this is not for Tauranga City areas, just the Western Bay District.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

I’ve looked at the Western BOP Dog Control Bylaw, hidden away through numerous links, Website Main Page – A-Z Services – Animal Services – Animal Policy Control & Legislation - Dog Control – Dog Control Policy, and I find the Dog walking Park Maps are reasonably detailed. Anywhere else, however, is not!

My interpretation of Bylaw 6.1.2 means that Dog Handlers can walk anywhere public including residential areas with a dog off a leash provided they have a leash in their possession.
The term “Under Control” is too open to interpretation by all concerned, and sides more with the dog handler, than the public, which is just wrong.
“Under Control” – the handler has to put the dog back on the leash at the request of anyone, supposing that the request is because the person is distressed by the loose dog.

Distressed people are not likely to ask as that is the nature of being distressed.

Dog owners prefer to make excuses like “he won’t bite” or “he’s just playing” or “he’s all bark and no bite” or don’t worry he’s fine” rather than put their canine back on its leash because in their eyes their pet can do no wrong, usually by that time we have been rushed at or bitten as the dog is controlled more by its nose and its ability to sense fear than the ‘Supposed Control’ of its handler.
Any request to have the dog leashed, I have found, no matter how polite, is generally taken by the handler as an insult to their them and their beloved pet and a removal of their rights.

So lets be sensible and logical about this.
There are plenty of "Off Leash" Areas listed (the Dog still has to be under control).

The term “Under Control” should only be used as a requirement of dog ownership, not as a zone.

Why even consider residential area’s as “Under Control”, they should automatically, or by default, be “On Leash” Area’s.
For that matter, any area not designated as “Restricted” or “Off Leash” should automatically by default be “ON LEASH”!

JT about 3 years ago

If there are to be any form of compromises beyond a dedicated, fenced off Dog Exercise Area, then the Council needs to have it well and truly sign posted advising all and sundry that dogs may be off leashes in that area. Boundaries have to be marked so there is no doubt that dogs have to be back on leash on exit; then both dog owners and general public have a right to defend their stance/position in public.
The Council needs to dedicate a page to their website for Dog Bylaw; stipulating ‘off leash areas’ and demanding all other areas Dogs be leashed.
The term ‘Dogs must be on a leash at all times’ should be used rather than ‘Dogs must be under control’ as Dog Owners split-hairs and use this term as okay to have a Dog off a leash because the animals are supposedly trained and they are verbally in command.
Owners belief in how well trained their Dogs are, vary wildly, some have a tendency to wear rose coloured glasses, and where the general Dog owning population tend to be obedient, there are those that will always flout the rule and need to be brought back into line with either very heavy fines or the removal of the animal.

JT about 3 years ago

I live in Mt Maunganui by the sea, I love dogs. However, the rules should be like Whangamata beach, the dogs are limited for the dogs at certain hours. Here it is terrible, some owners don't have there leash during the day, some little children (and people) get very upset by the dogs coming near them. AND the dogs poos are terrible when some people don't have a plastic bags, they just leave it. Also that happens when they do the streets on their way to the beach - yucky. Please do something about changing the rules for dogs. Thank you - Robyn

Robyne Briggs about 3 years ago

good dog owners, fenced section dog fixed pay registration on time no complaints should pay a lower fee to register dogs this i have seen in the south island (Dunedin)

nameunknowen over 3 years ago

think there should be a limit on number of dogs per section even i rural towns eg pongakawa Arawa road if a breeding licence is held put a limit of x amount of the same breed of dog on that section

nameunknowen over 3 years ago

Dogs should be on a leash in ‘All Public Places’, BY LAW, be it Beaches, Parks, Reserves, Town or Country.
We need a blanket ban so there is absolutely no confusion by any dog owner that the only place a dog may be allowed to run free, wild and unrestrained is in a well fenced Dedicated Dog Exercise Area. The more of these we have the safer the general public will be, physically and mentally.
Any dog off a leash is “not” under the direct control of the owner as can be attested by the amount of times my wife has been bitten or rushed at by supposed well behaved (“don’t, worry he won’t bite”) dogs.
A leash dangling by a dog owners side while the animal is roaming free is akin to riding a bike with the helmet strapped to the handlebars, completely pointless, and too late when required!

JT over 3 years ago

Concerns for the well-being and safety of people, especially the young and elderly, must rank way ahead of that for any animal.
Even if there is no physical injury, children are easily frightened and traumatized by barking/aggressive dogs. I have been caught out a number of times in supermarket carparks, etc, with large aggressive dogs lunging out of open windows when I have walked past parked vehicles.
All dogs, apart from see-and-eye dogs, etc, should be banned from public areas. Gang members, etc, intimidating the public by walking their dangerous-breed dogs in public areas should have their dogs put down.
There should be differentiation made between safe and dangerous breeds - some breeds make great pets but all dangerous breeds should be eradicated.
Unregistered dogs and dangerous-breed roaming dogs should be put down, as with any other dogs causing fear and apprehension to neighbours and the general public. Once, when we had small children, we had a neighbour's rotweiler roaming through our property and when I talked to the dog control officer (in another district) who knew the dog, he said there was nothing he could do and that the best thing that could happen was for me to do was to run it over!)
Dog owners need to be held accountable with severe penalties and also made to make restitution for all damage caused by their dogs (how do you put a price on a child's face that has been ripped off, etc?)
Dog owners should bear the full cost of facilities and services required to keep their animals - the financial burden should not be carried by those who do not have dogs.

ww over 3 years ago

We need a hell of a lot more Dedicated Dog Exercise Areas.
Well fenced because dogs do not acknowledge boundaries.
Well away from any residential area because of noise.
Plenty of them so there is absolutely, utterly, completely, totally no excuse for a dog to be off a lease anywhere else in this country other than the privacy of the owners well fenced and secure back yard!

JT over 3 years ago

Hi, we recently moved to Athenree - sleepy little settlement with lovely huge park and waterways. We moved with us a Boxer dog, with an attitude, but with owners that responsibly pick up their dog's "number twos". However, no bins in Dr North Memorial Park - a couple of signs that denotes $200 fine but upon ringing the council and suggesting bins be placed.....nope....did not really want to know as it cost $. We would like to reiterate, tonight, we feel that the council are dipping out on revenue which could have at least paid for one bin on its own.... 3 x huge lumps of poo throughout the course of our walk along Athenree waterway. Delightful..... Been worse over Xmas/New Year - and do you see the holiday makers making an effort....think not.....they can just leave our piece of paradise and their "number twos". We were informed that a bin would cost $1000.

$1000 that council did not want to spend..... be this a rubbish bin.....or a doggie bin.... specifically........ it seemed that Western Bay Council after my phone call did not want to know. How about a compromise here? Maybe what we should do (under Athenree Action Group) is take a photo of EVERY POO and furnish and diary the amount..... send your representative down within the next week and just you see how much I am pertaining to....not nice when you near step in it walking your own dog (which you responsibly pick up)!!! What about a mobile bin that can be placed in the busy months? This could be chained to one of the signs (like a wheelie bin) with a liner.... I myself don't mind being the person tying the bag up every week to place on the kerbside for the Monday collection...if that is what it is going to take to keep our small corner here "doggy doo doo free". What about a reminder in the paper too over the holiday season? OR for that matter.....a FRESH sign on the main sign at the park (as it is only on a post which seems to be ignored.

Whilst on the subject am surpised to see so many dogs off leash at the park (not under owner's control). We have to keep our dog on leash as she is not sociable and let off would be just like their dog...... bounding up and then our dog "having a go"..... irrespective of whether we stop and let people know in a friendly manner ......she is not best with other dogs...... this is because we have been on a block and she is being slowly "densensitised". Feel the laws are far far too lax here..... especially around Dr North Memorial Park, where you have a children's playground. In Waikato District Council forbidden to have dogs off within so many metres of playground......

So.......instead of "shutting the door" and saying that it is too costly...... I invite you to come and have an inspection of doggy poo ..... and the lack of facilities we have in the it specifically for doggie doo.....or for that matter RUBBISH.....we have no RUBBISH bins....and that is because I feel you feel they will be filled with poo....which you would be right....... so a RUBBISH bin....or a dog bin specifically?

It is lovely going for a walk and being responsible picking up your own dog's poo....but also another thing is having to walk the length of the waterway with doggy doo in plastic bag......whilst trying to handle a boxer.....not the easiest of feats....and you know would be easier just for me not to pick it up....would it not?

I hope you give this matter more "open mindedness" in your review of "dog issues" in this district.

Thank you for your time and encourage you to invest (as someone mentioned last week - quite discriminatory as you have them on the nice Waihi Beach front at Albacore.....and on the manicured grounds) but nil along our waterway.......yet dogs are welcome here too......

Dawn Stubbs (to join Athenree Action Group to get some action) over 3 years ago

Why was no one from Western bay at the Bark in the Park Waipuna park ?? surely a great chance to see and talk to people who own dogs, it was great seeing so many dogs and owners having a great morning.

phil mckernon over 3 years ago

I think the dog control officers should have more power than they do. After the neighbours two unregistered dogs attacked our pets, killing two of them, the response from WBOPDC was completely awful. The officer was sympathetic to our cause, but was unable to do anything without putting us in a really nasty situation with the neighbour. So, the dogs stayed. And the Council knew about them.

The stats that the Council publish show the lack of prosecution going on for people that have dangerous dogs. There needs to be a rule change to empower the officers to make decisions that have good results for the community. I can understand that prosecuting dog owners is expensive, but when you do the maths on how many dogs are registered and the cost of dog registration, that money has to be going somewhere (and not just paying wages for a few staff who aren't in a position to do much).

We have new neighbours that have an unregistered dog on an unfenced section... but will we bother to report it? Probably not, given the response last time.

I also think that yes, something needs to be done about the dog poo issues in the area - but I don't think the solution for this should fall on the dog owners, not the general rate paying population, if indeed the solution is something like giving owners poo bag carriers or similar. Heaven knows we subsidise enough other things in our rates! Responsibility needs to lie with dog owners.

Kristina over 3 years ago

We live in Hamilton and pay exorbitant rates on a holiday home, that do not cover water and rubbish. We own two beautifully behaved , beautifully groomed toy poodles that cannot enjoy a walk with us along the boardwalk or in Pilot bay without risking a heavy fine. Our dogs are better behaved and pose less risk to walkers that the many out of control kids plowing though the public on scooters and bikes. I understand the concerns over dog poo , but instead of penalising good dog owners how about allowing dogs in these areas on leashes and double the existing fine for anyone not cleaning up after their dog. This has completely ruined our holidays as we have to leave our dogs home when we go for a walk and as a consequence we will be selling the property and will buy in a more dog friendly area

band4u over 3 years ago

Dealing with dog poo: Responsible dog owners carry poo bags when they go ANYWHERE with their pooch so by all means, go ahead and make it mandatory. Supplying bags at parks suggests a shift in responsibility, not to mention the challenges that come with this... will they be free? how often will they be replenished? If it's empty, then what? Also... what if the dog poos on the way to/from the park?

Not sure if more bins would help... have sited unclaimed dog poo just meters from the bin on several occasions!

Welfare: I'm all for improving animal welfare, but if it's not bad enough to meet current cruelty standards then this is a national Government issue, not a local one.

Neutering: Yes to neutering repeat roamers, regardless of breed. Menacing can be very subjective so current legislation should stand to deal with on a case by case basis.

ruff123 over 3 years ago

I write this as having owned dogs as pets and as working dogs. I am not a dog hater, but dogs have their place and running free on the beach is not one of those places.

I ask the question, "Have you been on the Mount to Papmoa beaches and seen the number of dogs running free on the beach at any given time"? It is a nightmare watching for dogs running free on the beach, when you have toddlers and small children. You are supposed to go to the beach for relaxation, not to be continually on guard watching for approaching dogs. I was at the Mount Beach at Easter just south of Shark Alley with a toddler, when a dog ran deliberately from the water to the base of the sand hills where we were walking, heading straight for the toddler. I lifted the toddler up from the dogs reach, just before it got to us, yelled at the dog and it finally left. The owners walked by as though nothing had happened. What if the dog had got there first? I dread to think.

Recently, my husband and I were walking at the waters edge, a dog coming the other way on an extendable lead, rushed at us. by the look on its face it wasn't going to offer a friendly greeting. We dashed out of its way, while the owner reeled it in and apologized. We walk the beach from Shark Alley towards Omanu for about 1km and often you see 6 - 8 dogs running free on the beach.

The "Main Beach Dog Free Zone", should be extended to include Shark Alley. It is a very popular swimming area for families with young children. The sea there is a lot safer than the Main Beach for small children to swim and so should the whole beach in Shark Alley be made safe. Parents should not have to be on guard to watch for dogs.

Dogs should be on leads at all times while on the Mount to Papamoa beaches. After all, haven't we read in the papers and seen the evidence on TV of dog attacks on children. Why wait for it to happen on the Mount to Papmoa beaches, maybe even to your child or grandchild.

So my two points are:
1. Dogs should be banned from Shark Alley.
2. Dogs should be on leads at all times while on the Mount to Papamoa beaches.

Pippa over 3 years ago

I think it is great that we are able to take our dogs on to the beach even during the summer. I think the council has made the right decision here having the main beach and surf club areas free of dogs so families have the option of avoiding them, but with such a large beach it is great to see that dog lovers and non dog lovers alike are catered for. In order to have well socialised dogs we need areas where dogs can meet each other. Areas such as TECT park are a good idea in principle but as an owner of large dogs it doesn't have enough space to actually walk them as opposed to simply allowing them to mix with other dogs. It is also a long way out of town. We would go there if we could take the dogs for a long walk which would tire them out and provide exercise for us but we wouldn't go back if it remains the way it is. Having areas locally where the dogs can run off leash, swim and interact with other dogs is really important to us.
With the dog dirt, having plenty of bins accessible and where possible bags available would be great.
Incentives for good owners is a great idea but if the costs are just brought in somewhere else such as being included in the rates or higher fees then it doesn't really make sense. The offending dog owners should be paying higher fees not everyone else.
It would be good to see more education for children especially about being safe around dogs.

Andy over 3 years ago

Maketu has a major dog problem! I have given up trying to walk my dog in maketu due to the amount of threatening, unleashed dogs roaming the beach and no owners in site. In all my time at maketu, I have never seen a council dog control officer patrolling or enforcing any kind of dog laws. All it would take is for a council officer to visit once a week on a random day and round up the roaming dogs. I'm sure when the dog owners are hit in the pocket, it might sink in that they can't let their menacing dogs run loose when they feel like it.

Surfa over 3 years ago

I have recently moved to the BOP and have been surprised at the limited off leash areas around Tauranga. The TECT area is great but is too far out of town, too small and still needs some space to pay with the balls etc. I also think around the estuaries should be off leash. I love being able to walk the dog on the beach but like that Main Beach and Pilot Bay are totally dog free. While I'd love to be able to walk the dog on lead around the Mount, I understand why there are the restrictions. People who don't like dogs should be able to enjoy the space and too many dog owners would let their dogs off even if its well sign posted as leash only.

Dog bags at parks are good but not vital for the council to provide. If they are provided, it would be good to have bags that breakdown easily so we are not promoting plastic bags going into landfill.

Finally, I think clearer information on your internet, especially around off leash areas and off leash times would be good. eg. Memorial Park could be off lead before 9am and after 7pm during summer and 9am - 4pm in the winter. That way kids can play safe during the day and dogs can have a free run (controlled of course) out side of those times.


JWagener over 3 years ago

Dogs should definitely be kept on a leash on shared cycle/ pedestrian walkways.
As a cyclist I have been harassed by uncontrolled dogs on many occasions and frequently have to brake and swerve to avoid them as they career out of bushes or around corners. I have also seen children harassed by dogs. Being shorter this must be a very frightening experience.
Dog owners do not appreciate that their pets do not have the sense to "keep left", share the path and give way.

Morag over 3 years ago

Dog owners to stop letting their dogs off the lead to run down TTC Reserve between Condor Drive and Cheyne Road.
Mandatory pick up of doggy poo on Condor Drive.
A place for dogs to run free in a fenced area would be a real plus.
Thank you

Rosemary over 3 years ago

Having come from the Waikato and been a dog owner for many years, I feel responsible dog owners should be given cheaper registration for dogs. My dogs have never been aggressive, broken out and wandered and I have microchipped and fixed them every time so they do not have puppies. It would also be great if we implemented the 3 colours so children and adults alike know if the dog is approachable or not. Education for children on ensuring they ask to pat the dog before they approach would be great.

I currently have an English staffy and to be quite honest, it is the little dogs that get quite aggressive to her. I think in the walk ways in town that ALL dogs need to be leashed in a public area. Can we also have a dog park in Papamoa? After all it is one of the fastest growing suburbs in the BOP.

KeraRage1 over 3 years ago